(Xinhua): -- China's Permanent Representative to the UN Zhang Jun on Friday stressed that humanitarian operation must respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria as the recipient country.

Before Zhang spoke, the UN Security Council voted on two competing draft resolutions, one prepared by Belgium, Germany and Kuwait and the other by Russia, on the soon-to-expire UN's cross-border aid mechanism to Syria.

Both drafts failed to get adopted due to the council members' divide over the length of its new mandate and the number of operating crossings.

In his remarks explaining his vote against the first draft, Zhang said regarding the establishment of a Syrian cross-border humanitarian relief mechanism, China always has reservations.

He said the Syrian government has the primary responsibility for improving the humanitarian situation in Syria, and "we should prioritize providing humanitarian assistance from inside Syria."

He reminded the council that cross-border humanitarian relief is a special relief method adopted under specific circumstances and it should be evaluated in a timely manner in light of the developments on the ground. "This mechanism must ultimately be adjusted."

Meanwhile, the Chinese envoy noted that China always attaches great importance to the humanitarian situation in Syria, supports the international community in stepping up humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people.

China supports the active work of UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and other international humanitarian agencies, he said.

China has also provided Syria with food, medicine, education, training, public services and other assistance through multilateral and bilateral channels, and is committed to improving the humanitarian situation in Syria and alleviating the sufferings of the Syrian people, he said.

Since 2014, the UN and aid groups have crossed into Syria from Turkey, Iraq and Jordan at four crossing points authorized yearly by the Security Council.

The Belgium/Germany/Kuwait text called for a re-authorization of the two crossings with Turkey and the one with Iraq for another year, while the Russian draft would only re-authorize the use of the two on the Turkish border for six months.

Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN Vassily Nebenzia said the troika draft fails to reflect the changes since the mechanism was established in 2014 under urgent circumstances when there were no other means for the delivery of humanitarian assistance to certain areas.

He noted that many of those areas can now get humanitarian assistance from within Syria.

Zhang voted against the troika draft and voted for Russia's alternative text.

He said China has been making active efforts to promote consensus on the issue of cross-border humanitarian relief in Syria, and expressed regret that the council failed to reach agreement on the extension of the mechanism's mandate.

Kelly Craft, U.S. permanent representative to the UN and also president of the Security Council for December, described Russia and China's opposition to the first draft as "reckless, irresponsible and cruel," and called their consequence "disastrous."

She vetoed Russia's draft as the representative of a permanent council member.

In response, Zhang said China firmly rejects the groundless accusations leveled by the United States and other countries on China's voting position.

"China has always participated in the consultations in a responsible and constructive manner, calling on all parties concerned to engage in dialogue and consultations and making active efforts to reach a consensus," he stated.

China's concern is completely reasonable and legitimate, he said. "China's independent and principled voting position brooks no accusation."

Zhang went on to point out that the current situation in Syria is caused by the erroneous actions of "some countries."

"If they really care about the Syrian people and the humanitarian situation in Syria, why don't they vote for the Russian draft resolution?" he retorted, pointing to the "hypocrisy," "double standard," and "politicizing humanitarian issues" in these countries' conduct.